STRASBOURG (Reuters) – A deal to make sure a easy British exit from the European Union continues to be potential however the danger of a no-deal can also be “very actual”, European Fee President Jean-Claude Juncker mentioned on Wednesday.
FILE PHOTO: European Fee President Jean-Claude Juncker addresses the plenary of the European Parliament on Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union throughout a debate on Brexit on the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, September 18, 2019. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler
In an handle within the European Parliament, Juncker mentioned British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had advised him on Monday that London nonetheless wished a transition deal, however that he would go away with or with out an accord on Oct. 31.
Professional-Brexit lawmakers cheered and applauded within the Strasbourg chamber.
“There’s little or no time left…The chance of a no-deal could be very actual,” mentioned Juncker, who met Johnson in Luxembourg on Monday.
Juncker repeated his public message, saying London should current reasonable proposals to interchange the Irish backstop association of their Britain-EU divorce settlement.
“I’m not emotionally hooked up to the Irish backstop,” Juncker mentioned. “I’ve requested the prime minister to make, in writing, options,” he mentioned, calling it a security web to keep away from a divided Eire after Brexit.
His pessimistic tone was echoed by Finland’s minister for European affairs, Tytti Tuppurainen, who additionally spoke within the parliament, saying a no-deal Brexit “is a fairly doubtless final result.” Finland presently holds the EU’s rotating presidency.
Nevertheless, many EU lawmakers warned towards a no-deal. The parliament is because of undertake a decision afterward Wednesday calling for Britain to be granted one other extension to permit extra time for London to agree the phrases of its withdrawal.
The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, mentioned no-deal Brexit would additionally not resolve lots of the points across the rights of EU residents, the Irish border and British obligations underneath the bloc’s long-term funds.
“If the UK leaves with out a deal, all these questions is not going to disappear. They’re nonetheless there,” Barnier mentioned.
Further reporting by Philip Blenkinsop in Brussels; Enhancing by Angus MacSwan